Sex and people with functional diversity open the debate in San Sebastian | San Sebastian Film Festival

Director Fernando Franco has a unique talent for dealing with female characters with insurmountable disorders. In The wound (2013), her celebrated directorial debut, looked at the self-destructive impulses of an ambulance driver with borderline personality disorder. And now, in her new movie, the magnificent and very disturbing Spring consecration, a young chemistry student, played by another surprise at this festival, Valèria Sorolla, embarks on a friendship and, above all, sex with a young man with cerebral palsy. The ambiguity of this female character runs through a film in which sex can be something as regulated as the chemical formula of a tear.

He is such a strange and unprecedented character that following in his footsteps throughout this film causes crazy astonishment: the religious background of his education, the nuns’ college in Madrid where he lives, the comfortable lies to his Majorcan family, his relationship with her friends, with her clothes and with her body. All his complexity is perfectly embedded in each phrase and in each shot also thanks to the explosive tenderness of the character he plays. Telmo Irureta from her wheelchair or to that mother-wolf that Emma Suárez embroiders. A very brave film, refined in its interpretations and in its form, which dares with a subject whose true source of discomfort is not in the obvious. That concern is reserved for each viewer and for the abrupt outcome of it.

The stars of ‘The Rite of Spring’: Emma Suárez, Telmo Irureta and Valèria Sorolla, this Wednesday in San Sebastián.JORGE FUEMBUENA

Spring consecration shows a reality unknown to most and almost untouched from the screen: the sexual life of people with functional diversity and the existence of sexual “assistants” that allow them to have a life as full as possible. But it also raises a debate about its representation.

These same days the television series Easy, by Ana R. Costa, inspired by the novel easy reading by Christina Morales. If the controversy between Morales and the authors of the series does not add anything new to a long tradition of writers who, with more or less elegance, confuse their contractual limits when seeing their work reflected on a screen, what is pertinent to discuss is whether today a series can be made about a group of women with functional diversity with actresses who, no matter how good they are, and in this case they are, end up getting into a shirt of eleven yards. Perhaps this is the most shocking thing about a series like Easy, a basic decision that a film like Fernando Franco’s dares to assume, but that surely is far from being plausible within the commercial mentality of a television platform.

Interestingly, yesterday another movie, The Kings of the world, second film by Colombian Laura Mora, one of the toughest and at the same time beautiful films that have passed through the contest, had among its main characters, five boys from the streets of Medellin, a young man with paralysis in his arm, in addition to other serious sequels, which was about to be disabled in a traffic accident.

He is a character touched by the mystique of a film that talks about a key issue in Colombia: the wound caused by the displacement of thousands of indigenous families from their lands due to the armed conflict. Here, some marginal boys decide to leave the city to return to the promised land of their grandparents. A road movies as raw as poetic whose imaginary travels from the streets of Medellin, crossed by harsh urban violence, to the jungle, to Bajo Cauca Antioquia, where the five will discover a new violence but also the strength of their brotherhood. Laura Mora’s gaze at these boys and at the entrenched violence in her country is unusual and much more powerful than rivers of blood. Shot with a team made up mostly of women, perhaps everything is summed up with the phrase that one of these excluded boys said yesterday when thanking how they had been treated and cared for: “With this film I learned that violence and evil are not always everything ”.

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